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KAPLAN Verbal Reasoning Section Tests

Discussion in 'Kaplan MCAT Forum' started by wolverine1, 01.28.10.

  1. wolverine1

    wolverine1

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    Have any of you been doing the kaplan VR section tests. I am getting killed in these only getting 50-70% right.

    Anyone else with similar experiences?
  2. Blankets

    Blankets

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    I have taken two as well and have scored 66% and 70%. I have taken two practice tests and have scored 85% and 95%. I don't know if the kaplan section tests are just really hard or its just bad luck. The kaplan strategy doesn't work for me either.
  3. zonapellucida

    zonapellucida

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    do you score low on only the verbal or also the sciences?

    ah...... do you guys map btw?
  4. feipar

    feipar

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    yeah, something to the effect of the following:

    3-80
    4-75
    5-70
    6-62
    7-57
    8-62
    9-75
    10-65

    I don't think they are THAT hard, but at least if you analyze the reasons why you got it wrong, then it would be useful.

    I don't map like they suggest, but a lot of what they teach is very useful. The most important thing is wrong answer pathology.

    For the last test, while I got 14 wrong, for most of them I was able to get down to 2 answer choices.

    It really is a matter of practice and finding out what works for you. I hope I can improve from here.
  5. Peterodemic

    Peterodemic

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    I don't remember my specific scores on the verbal section. but let me just put it this way.

    I took the diagnostic: got 26
    went to all the classes
    did section tests and followed the strategies (although I did simplify certain aspects of the strategies taught)
    did a lot of practice
    did subject tests
    did 9 out of 19 full lengths
    and got 38R on my actual MCAT in January

    Let me just tell y'all, doing well on the MCAT is "half prep half confidence":)
  6. LaurenMCAT

    LaurenMCAT Elite Kaplan Instructor Exhibitor

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    Hi wolverine1 :hello:

    I really like the responses you've received here :)

    Verbal was my MOST difficult section...because I kind of ignored it. My problem: I fell for "out of scope" answer choices because they appealed to my sense of creativity and desire to "think outside the box."

    What I didn't know: there is very little creativity required to score well on VR. In fact, it can get you into trouble and headed toward wrong answers (like me). What you HAVE to do is to find solid passage support for your answers. ALWAYS go straight back to the passage after reading the question to get the support for your prediction.

    And, like feipar mentioned...wrong answer pathology is key. What types of wrong answers do you tend to choose? What types of questions tend to trip you up?
  7. Blankets

    Blankets

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    I am currently taking the On Demand Kaplan Course. I have a question about always going back to the passage after every question. I find that I do not have time to go back to the passage unless I skim the passage, but if I skim the passage my general comprehension decreases. I do not employ mapping, but I have played close attention to the rest of the advice the course has offered. Do you have any suggestions?

    Thanks!
  8. Cinclus

    Cinclus =^..^= Moderator Emeritus

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    I just took the first verbal reasoning practice test in the Kaplan Premier 2010-2011 book (my first full-length verbal section practice, I've done about 4 passages in ExamKrackers), and I got 39 right out of the 40 questions. According to their score conversion chart provided with the full-length, this translates to a score of 14. While this score certainly does not upset me, I'm concerned, b/c the test seemed too easy, especially compared to some of the EK questions I did. I finished within 45 minutes, and the answers just seemed too obvious. Any thoughts on the utility of Kaplan verbal practice tests in predicting a real score? Are these similar at all to the real thing, or are they just OK practice (or should I not even bother)? I've yet to buy the AAMC exams, but I plan to buy some soon.
  9. LaurenMCAT

    LaurenMCAT Elite Kaplan Instructor Exhibitor

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    Yep! I do!

    Practice reading MCAT VR-like literature to increase your comprehension while maintaining speed. Passage mapping is a tool to ensure you read "actively" and can paraphrase the most important info from each paragraph.

    See this other thread:
    http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=785764
  10. LaurenMCAT

    LaurenMCAT Elite Kaplan Instructor Exhibitor

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    Great job, Cinclus! :thumbup:

    The Kaplan texts I'm familiar with are the ones that come with the Kaplan courses. I'm not exactly sure what passages you worked on, but I would assume that our awesome staff did their best to include AAMC-like material, especially in a text that was so recently published!

    I, as well, nailed my VR testing right out of the gate (and then ignored it for the rest of my MCAT studying - BAD idea), so it may be that you naturally rock on MCAT-style reading comprehension ;)

    Keep up the VR studying/practice and remember - students tend to read 20% slower on the computer than on paper :eek: - so practice practice reading passages on the computer!

    Good luck!
  11. Cinclus

    Cinclus =^..^= Moderator Emeritus

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    Thanks for replying. I plan to complete the other Kaplan VR practice tests I have (one more on paper, several online), and I also plan to purchase the EK 101 passages and complete several full-length exams (Kaplan and AAMC). I'm not done studying yet. I want to get a 14 on the real thing! I'll make sure I watch my time when I do the computer ones.
  12. mrmatt

    mrmatt

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    Going back to the passage does seem helpful. I've been falling for Distortion and Opposite choices (those were 10/11 mistakes on my recent practice Subject test). Anyone have any particular advice to combat these traps?

    (I think that gaining a stronger meaning for each paragraph before I continue will be important, since it seems like I often misunderstand (slightly) a detail, resulting in 2 choices that look good to me.)
  13. blueseal24

    blueseal24

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  14. gongshow89

    gongshow89

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    How do the Kaplan VR section tests compare to the EK 101 tests..I've gotten 12's in Kaplan's and then just recently 7's in two of EK's. Are the tests in EK that much harder, or did I just have a bad couple of tests? Any input is greatly appreciated b/c I'm kinda freaking out! :eek: lol
  15. tman5890

    tman5890 Fiery Devotion

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    The EK101 passages are relatively difficult. Not sure if it's harder than kaplan, but it might be the way they ask questions.
  16. tak08810

    tak08810

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    The problem with Kaplan VR is that it's often detail oriented questions, you can go back to the passage and find an almost verbatim quotation equaling to the answers. For people naturally good at reading comprehension, it makes VR cake.

    Unfortunately, the real VR questions aren't like that; it's much about getting the author's point of view, tone, and main ideas rather than detail oriented questions which require you to go back to the passage and search for exact answers (which you won't have time to do either). This is much, much harder. Some questions will have you go "WTF" at how random and irrelevant they are.

    So yes, the EK 101 and the ones on the practice test and the official AAMC books are harder IMO, sometimes significantly so.

    Also, from SND2's famous 3 month guide to studying for the MCAT

    "Why is Kaplan's verbal bad?

    Kaplan is bad in verbal because it doesn't stress the same things as the actual MCAT. For the MCAT, the main idea and author's point of view/opinion are the keys to success. Conversely, Kaplan focuses more on the detail oriented questions which are easy to teach; the kind of questions which make you go back over the passage to find the minute detail being tested. On the MCAT, going back to the passages will kill your timing. Furthermore, you rarely receive such questions and when you do get them, they can typically be answered with the main idea or author's opinion."
  17. tman5890

    tman5890 Fiery Devotion

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    ***SN2ed. Can't have you sully his name :D
  18. Bancrofti

    Bancrofti

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    I honestly don't find much of a difference between the passages from Kaplan. If anything they're a little harder. Kaplan does not focus on only "back to the passage" type questions, as the practice exams I've taken and several of the quizzes always include big picture questions.. which the Kaplan VR strategy itself says is the predominant question type on the actual exam. People keep saying that they force you to go back but, in reality even "big picture" questions can be answered by information in the passage.

    Verbal is not a "science," meaning that for this section of the exam EVERYTHING you need is IN the passage. Even for questions such as, how would the author feel about xyz, words in the passage indicating the authors tone are the clues needed to answer this question are in the passage. There is nothing wrong with going back, the problem is that if you aren't reading the passage properly the first time and glean nothing from it, you will waste precious time by searching for something in the passage. Hence Kaplan's mapping, so that when you do go back you know exactly where to look. I'm only averaging 10s over Kaplan exams, AAMC exams, and the 3 I've taken from the EK101 book but I can honestly say I don't see the reason to critique so bad. A majority of the people perpetuating the Kaplan Verbal sucks notion, probably never took the class, and for the few that have probably didn't execute the strategy properly or gave up on it before they could see the benefit.
  19. LaurenMCAT

    LaurenMCAT Elite Kaplan Instructor Exhibitor

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    That's a really interesting observation tak08810! Some people DO find the detail questions to be easier than others because we can glance back at the passage and say, "Look - I found it RIGHT here!" then pick the one answer choice that clearly reflects the passage's detail. And scoring well on the MCAT exam is TOTALLY dependent on understanding the main idea(s)...well 33% dependent to be exact.

    From my experience with Kaplan, after crunching the numbers and seeing hundreds of passages...our VR questions are exactly divided into the following categories:

    1/3 Detail ("detail" and "evaluation" questions)
    1/3 Deduction
    1/3 Main Idea ("global," "application," and "incorporation" questions)

    Which is GREAT! Because like you mentioned, the MCAT VR is so much more than detail - 66% more, in fact! And you'll get all that practice our VR resources :) plus cool techniques for nailing the main idea immediately (ever heard of passage mapping?).

    Best of luck! And keep plugging away at your VR studying :D

    [for more VR tips, see my thread here: http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=785764]
  20. LaurenMCAT

    LaurenMCAT Elite Kaplan Instructor Exhibitor

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    Good evaluation mrmatt!

    Stay on top of your PREDICTIONS and never fall for an answer choice that doesn't have direct passage support.

    Based upon your commonly chosen wrong-answer types, it sounds like you need to read the questions and answers more literally. Do NOT read between the lines of the question stem OR the answer choice. What is written is exactly what the Test Maker means to write!

    Practice, practice, practice reading outside materials (see suggestions here: http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=785764) so that you can improve your speed and comprehension, leaving you more time to make critical references to the passage for the challenging questions.

    Lots o' luck! :luck: -Lauren
  21. zeppelinpage4

    zeppelinpage4

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    I took Kaplans' verbal test 2 and got a 70% and got around the same score on my last EK 101 exam.

    However Kaplan gave me a 5, while the EK101 score translated to a 9. :confused:
    I'm hopefully gonna get a chance to take more in the coming weeks, but yeah I'm definitely having more difficulty with Kaplan's tests, their passages seems denser and harder to read. I don't know which is more true to the real MCAT or better to focus on, but hopefully I'll have time to use both sources for VR practice.

    From the classes I have had and the practice test I've taken, Kaplan seems to give a pretty good focus on meaning. They do teach detail but it's definitely not the primary focus, as I've been told to look for scope and the author's purpose etc...we'll see how it turns out once I start taking some AAMC tests, but Kaplan's approach seems pretty standard to me. I just can't passage map, that takes way too much time.
    Last edited: 06.23.11
  22. dancerdoc89

    dancerdoc89 Knowledge is Power

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    Same thing here...map-free is the way to be.
  23. gongshow89

    gongshow89

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    Passage mapping has definitly helped me increase my VR abilities. But I think I've gotten to a point where I can just do it in my head now (due to practise). Either way I still map, just with-out using that extra time to write it down. Also I did another EK101 test and got an 11 so I think I just had a bad day or something...
  24. LaurenMCAT

    LaurenMCAT Elite Kaplan Instructor Exhibitor

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    That's why we practice! After practicing passage mapping for, let's say, 10 full-length exams, that's 210 passages you got through while making the best use of your scratch paper. And besides...WHY would you want to keep all this info in your head when your head is already crammed with soooo much knowledge? I don't!

    On Test Day, passage mapping takes virtually no time at all. In fact, it becomes second nature and actually helps guide your approach to the passages :D

    Just like riding a bike...you don't enter a race the day you take off your training wheels!
  25. jwatso05

    jwatso05

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    As far as passage mapping goes, what's wrong with highlighting the text on the screen exactly like you would if you were scribbling notes on your paper? For me, that makes a huge difference to have the notes right there in front of me. It is my pseudo-mapping style.
  26. Bancrofti

    Bancrofti

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    Ironically, I was told THIS would take too much time since I asked the same question during the lecture. However, the answer does make sense. For an average 5 paragraph passage I probably spend 3 seconds per paragraph mapping. So I only spend about 15 seconds a passage and less than 2 minutes for the whole section mapping, and I haven't even perfected it yet. I think on upcoming exams I'm only going to map passages with 5 or more paragraphs or 4 or more if the paragraphs are really dense.

    The problem with highlighting is that you have no clue what is important in the passage before reading (I guess if you glimpsed at the questions first then you would have an idea, but that would likely waste too much time - or maybe it would work who knows). So in not knowing what is important, you have to highlight every single thing that could be important such as all transition words, numbers, and what may sound like an opinion or a conclusion. This will take much more time than jotting down a 4-5 words synopsis of each paragraph.


    Writing that made me think about the looking at the questions first option... I may give that a spin on my next practice verbal :idea: couldn't hurt. + 1 of my personal problems anyway is already that I tend to read things more than once because I'm not really paying attention at times.
  27. ANEShopeful2018

    ANEShopeful2018 Closed

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    Do you guys generally feel the Kaplan FL verbals are easier than the Section Tests?
  28. LaurenMCAT

    LaurenMCAT Elite Kaplan Instructor Exhibitor

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    Yes. Totally!
  29. ANEShopeful2018

    ANEShopeful2018 Closed

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    That's good to hear! I've been doing badly on the 1st 3 VR Section Tests (67.5, 57,5 and 70), but I got an 85 today :D Hopefully I can keep improving...I missed 5/6 questions on the last two passages...not sure if it's due to lack of concentration of passage difficulty. I'm hoping for the latter :scared:
  30. LaurenMCAT

    LaurenMCAT Elite Kaplan Instructor Exhibitor

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    I like highlighting, too! BUT...you can't rely on it at all on Test Day because...the second you flip to the next passage...ALL YOUR HIGHLIGHTING DISAPPEARS!

    GONE!

    POOF!

    VANISHED!

    And never to be seen again...but your passage map is right there on your scratch paper if you ever need to reference it :cool: Not bad, huh?

    Plus...the ACT of hunting down the juicy passage info, plus writing what you determine to be the big picture...is really valuable in and of itself. Active reading > passive reading on Test Day!
  31. kanyewest

    kanyewest

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    Is anyone else finding it super hard to improve their score?

    I've done Kaplan VR section tests 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 and 11 and my scores are 55,62,52,55,58,60,52,60,58 and 50 (that's out of 100%)...

    Realistically that's not the range I want to be scoring in on test day but I cant seem to improve.. I write Aug 6th.. I'm kinda scared
  32. LaurenMCAT

    LaurenMCAT Elite Kaplan Instructor Exhibitor

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    Hi Kanye :hello:

    First music, then producing, then fashion, and now medicine? Wow...you are a busy man :cool: hee hee

    Re: your lack of improvement on your VR scores...it's clearly due to something OTHER than your familiarity with the testing format. If that what was holding you back, taking more tests would have helped. Instead, you need to look more closely at WHY you are missing ANY questions!

    Have you done the following:
    - post-phrased every test? (http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=786361) what kind of wrong answers do you typically fall for? (OOS, FUD, distortion, opposite)
    - gone into your Smart Reports feature (see My Toolbox in your syllabus) and checked out your aggregate performance on all things VR? how do you fare per passage type? per question type?
    - read outside sources to improve reading speed and efficiency?
    - passage mapped every passage and double checked your results against Kaplan's map?

    ALL these things will definitely pump that score up! WOOO HOOO!!! :thumbup:
  33. rockyDoctora

    rockyDoctora

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    I definitely feel that the Kaplan passages are a lot more dense than the EK101 passages. This really kills me because I don't have the capacity to note all the names and dates that the passages spit out. I guess in these kind of passages, mapping helps more? I also think highlighting the important figures out of the many would be good too.

    So what is the consensus here?

    Is the Kaplan Verbal harder than the real thing?
  34. SoaringWish

    SoaringWish

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    I've been doing EK 101 and 16 mini mcats and passages from AAMC's official guide to the MCAT. On average I score 9 on all of them. Today I did AAMC 4 verbal and got 8. When I am doing Kaplan subject tests online I just go crazy... I cannot concentrate on the passage and when i need to go back to it, I never find info i'm looking for. In addition to that I have hard time with "the blue frame" around Kaplan online exams; my eyes get tired too fast, by 7th passage i cannot read.

    Does anybody find it easier to take verbal exams on paper than on the computer? Computer screen seems to be a huge drawback for me.

    I'm disappointed...Never liked Kaplan's verbal but my exam is August 19th... and if real mcat is like Kaplan then i'm in a big trouble...
  35. tman5890

    tman5890 Fiery Devotion

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    It takes getting used to the CBT format, so it's better if you continue practicing on the computer to simulate test day.
  36. SoaringWish

    SoaringWish

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    I'm practicing...I dont have any problems with BS or PS, just Verbal and only with Kaplan's blue background. Thanks for an advise. I started practicing too late...

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